Midlands Bureau Chief
POLICE in Shurugwi have arrested a man who allegedly targeted single business women with whom he entered into love relationships before killing them and taking their properties such as vehicles as well as money.
The suspect, Emmanuel Mahembe, (37) of Chief Banga area in Shurugwi appeared before Shurugwi magistrate Ms Sithabile Zungula for initial remand.
He is facing two counts of murder and two counts of theft.
Mahembe was arrested by the police at Chachacha growth point in Shurugwi on Wednesday after a trap was set.
He was remanded in custody to August 4.
It was not stated in court what the businesswomen were dealing in.
The court heard that on the first count, Mahembe was allegedly in a relationship with the first victim Ms Patricia Mutero.
Between August and September last year, Mahembe allegedly asked Ms Mutero to visit him at Chachacha business centre in Shurugwi.
The court heard that the woman drove her white Honda Fit to see him and arrived at Chachacha business centre at 7PM.
Mahembe and Ms Mutero allegedly spent the whole night drinking beer.
The court heard that the following day at around 12PM, Mahembe requested to be intimate with her before they drove to a dip tank called Dhonga at Chachacha business centre.
Because they had spent the whole night drinking beer, the court heard that upon arrival at the dip tank, Ms Mutero fell asleep leaning on the steering wheel.
Mahembe, the court heard, disembarked from the passenger side and went to the back seat behind her.
He allegedly grabbed his lover from the back before strangling her to death in her sleep.
Mahembe allegedly put Ms Mutero’s body on the back seat, started the vehicle and drove to Gwamvurachena River in Makotore Village, Shurugwi where he wrapped her body with a red blanket.
The court heard that Mahembe dug a shallow grave and buried the body.
Mahembe allegedly went on to use the deceased’s vehicle and later swapped it with a Toyota Fun Cargo belonging to one Mr Tafadzwa Mutare.
The car was valued at US$3500 and it was not recovered.
On the second count, the court heard that Mahembe started a relationship with the second victim Ms Idah Chigumbate in May this year.
The court heard that using the same modus operandi, Mahembe allegedly asked Ms Chigumbate to meet him at Chachacha growth point.
When Ms Chigumbate arrived, the two allegedly started drinking beer until the next day.
The court heard that Ms Chigumbate told Mahembe that she wanted to visit her brother-in-law whom she said was admitted to Shurugwi District hospital.
On their way to Shurugwi along Mhandamabwe-Musada Road, the court heard that Mahembe and Ms Chigumbate had a misunderstanding over US$500 which he owed her.
The court heard that a fight then ensued at Todal turn-off where they had parked.
Mahembe allegedly fatally assaulted Ms Chigumbate.
The court heard that Mahembe drove along Anglo Unki Mine Road where he dumped Ms Chigumbate’s body in a mine shaft near Mutevekwi River.
Her remains were retrieved on July 19.
Mahembe allegedly took the deceased’s silver Honda Fit which he used as his personal car.
He also allegedly took Ms Chigumbate’s cellphone which he used to request US$750 from her son.
Mahembe also allegedly used the cellphone to call the deceased relatives demanding money.
Ms Chigumbate’s son became suspicious after her mom just vanished and yet messages requesting money were being sent from her phone before reporting the matter to the police.
A trap was set at Chachacha growth point leading to the arrest of Mahembe.
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